The Franklin County Farmers’ Market is putting on anotherPop-Up Winter Market this Saturday, January 25, where we’ll be unveiling a couple of new products that we think will bring some sunshine to your winter: Roasted Tomato Juice and Pomodoro Tomato Jelly!
Over the summer, during peak tomato season, we slow-roasted our heirloom plum tomatoes to coax out as much flavor as possible, and canned the intense juice for a burst of tomato goodness any time of year. We think of the juice as a secret ingredient to add multi-layered tomato flavor—sweetness, tartness, and complexity—to all kinds of cooking. We use it like an intense stock: as the base of a soup, in a marinade, to cook grains, or to add an extra splash of flavor when roasting vegetables. Its high acid content makes it perfect for deglazing, as well. (Be aware that the acid in the tomato juice can affect the cooking of some beans and grains, so when in doubt, add the juice to already-cooked beans and grains). We like to experiment with the Roasted Tomato Juice and play in the kitchen and hope you do, too. Try it in this savory oatmeal recipe!
We also made some of the magical tomato juice into a really neat golden jelly that somehow has an almost honey-like or apple-like quality. It’s hard to describe the nuanced flavors that come through the Pomodoro Tomato Jelly—you’ll just have to try some!
You may have read about Dandelion Ridge Farm’s jar return program on the back of your canned good labels; for each jar returned to us, we will make a donation to a relevant cause. Roasted Tomato Juice jars prompt a donation to the Edible Schoolyard Program, which fosters a network of thousands of school gardens around the world, and creates edible education curricula. When you return a Pomodoro Jelly jar, we donate to the World Vegetable Center. This global non-profit develops nutrient-dense vegetable varieties and promotes efficient production methods to combat poverty and improve nutrition around the world. It also maintains an enormous bank of seeds and other plant genetic material, including about 12,000 specimens from indigenous vegetables around the world.
Seed saving, selecting, and sharing over the generations have developed an enormous diversity of vegetable varieties suited to the different situations, environments, needs, and priorities of the growers and their communities. Seed banks and libraries are invaluable repositories and caregivers of plant biodiversity that might otherwise be lost for reasons ranging from disuse and improper storage to natural disasters and climate change. This week, I learned about a beautiful art project celebrating and exploring the biodiversity within seed banks: Dornith Doherty’s Archiving Eden. Currently on display in Toronto, this interactive exhibition encourages visitors to exchange X-ray images of seeds with actual seeds of Canadian crops and wild plants. I was fascinated to learn of Doherty’s work here and hope you’ll find it inspiring, too!
We’re in the thick of tomato and tomatillo season here at Dandelion Ridge Farm, and the delicious fruits have taken over our lives! When we’re not harvesting, we’re canning or drying our harvests to last throughout the year. There isn’t much time for other garden work right now! Here are our towering tomato plants reaching for the sky!
But we’re excited to start unveiling some new canned goods this week, starting with Sweet Abundance Green Tomato Jelly. Kevin developed this recipe years ago when we were living in Asheville, NC, and a bad tomato blight left us with dead tomato plants and tons of green tomatoes. Our tomato plants are thriving this year, but we harvested some green tomatoes so that we could share this unique and delicious jelly with you! It has a beguiling sweet and subtly tart flavor that is excellent on cornbread—our favorite use! Try some at the Franklin County Farmers’ Market this weekend!
Check out this recipe for Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce--it's a delicious pizza sauce recipe Kevin developed using our Principe Borghese sun-dried tomatoes—little power packs of intense tomato flavor so sweet and tasty that some of our customers eat them like candy!— and fresh paste tomatoes, as well as fresh herbs. Top your pizza with summer veggies like zucchini, eggplant, basil, or even more tomatoes!